The party is in full swing, quay area packed full of revellers, surrounded by a ring of security guards that Felix has counted several times. There’s not just bodies either, but a hastily-erected metal fence that him and his partner intend to make full use of, assuming they can make it inside. He’s still not sure how they’re going to pull that part of Q’s plan off, but isn’t arguing with twin SIGS holstered inside the Tuxedo jacket. The outfit is finished off with Christian’s Spectre ring, a surprisingly good fit: on his arm remains Ronni, garnering far more attention than even he thought would be possible. In fact, as it stands, nobody gives a fuck about the black guy, and everyone wants a piece of this white woman’s body. Flemmings clearly gets how to use herself as a weapon, and that’s the bigger part of an equation Leiter now understands he’s going to have to give some thought to when all this is becomes metrics and debriefings.
It’s a surprising irony that they have to queue to enter the inner section of the bad guy’s party, but this at least gives chance for whispered small talk whilst waiting.
‘I take it back Ronni, you could be wearing a sack but with this attitude?’
‘That’s how power works in the modern world. People can’t be bothered to look past tits and arse. In fairness it’s been like that for centuries but right now, the superficial has become particularly relevant.’
‘I’m not sure I like this version of the future if someone like you gets treated like meat as much as this.’
‘We all have our prejudices to bear, Felix, the system is inherently fucked to begin with. Both of us could do without having the white guys in charge.’
‘Now don’t you go there, young lady.’
‘You’re right, I think we ought to remind everyone of just how lucky you are.’
‘You don’t have to do this.’
‘Don’t fret, all this is only business after all, and I know you’re not an arsehole.’
As the queue moves Ronni puts hand to his face and kisses: acutely aware that she’s doing the job, Felix is still surprised how comfortable 004 feels pressed against his body. As she finally surfaces there’s awareness of people watching, that the reasoning for theatre is apparent. He’s supposed to be a big fish, after all, and the guy at the entrance to the high security area’s already waving them through, not even asking for his ring as ID. The metal detector’s negated and Felix finally grasps the significance of 004’s task as distraction.
‘Q was right, you’re a trojan horse.’
‘And so much else, until Spectre realises the rules have changed forever. Right now we make the most of every opportunity. With Q as silent backup pretty much anything is possible now we’re inside the perimeter.’
‘I actually think this crazy-assed plan’s gonna work. That boy really is a fucking genius.’
‘Let’s go do him proud. I’ll meet you back here when you’re done.’
There was good reason why Q now sat in darkness, hidden from the world and Spectre with just his laptop for company. Access had already been gained to the town’s power grid, plus domestic amenities, and with understanding of both came a plan to use the very things Spectre had deployed as additional protection as weapons against them. The fencing, steel cables that held the large protective awning above the party in place, even the metal tables that revellers sat around were potential conductors of electricity. Even the deep-grooved paving slabs beneath revellers feet was capable of becoming a danger, as soon as all points were connected together, forming a deadly net around the party. Felix’s task was to ensure a number of key electrical connections were quietly made, simple task in areas where no-one expected issues, without CCTV surveillance.
Ronni begins the task of covering the floor in water, slow drip that would on cue become a flood, setting mini detonators which would in time exploit weak points in ancient pipework. No-one pays either Flemmings or Leiter any attention because neither shows interest in approaching the main building. It is a slow yet meticulous process; after thirty minutes of carefully organised effort and co-ordination, the entire area is set to go ‘live’ with nobody the wiser. With interest focussed on the expected attack from security at the building, there’s even time for some food and a drink, as Ronni and Leiter sit, watching excessive celebration continue unabated. It is the first time they’ve had a chance for reflection, and Felix is ready to make the most of the downtime.
‘You ever question whether you made the right call, Ron?’
Felix is amazed at the voracious appetite of this woman, surprising for someone as lean, chowing down on a full plate of buffet food. He’s never hungry when working, but understands that’s often the exception.
‘If the choice came between this life and our side? I know where I’d end up. These people aren’t fans of the way I decide to live. I doubt that will ever change.’
‘Yeah, this celebration makes me uncomfortable, as if there wasn’t a war on their doorstep.’
‘It is as if they’re untouchable, no way they can be beaten. Spectre don’t understand what it’s like to feel fear, so many years being unopposed by authority. At some point, there’s always a reckoning. That’s how life works. You either do the right thing, or face the consequences.’
‘Now I understand why Q wanted this, and not just to take the place down. This isn’t just mindless retaliation -‘
‘Anything but. The casualties should be minimal once people work out what’s going on, and if they’re smart?’
‘They can stay safe, but it’s the distraction you need to get in and to flush the Swanns out. They should let Q out of the office more often…’
An hour passes, then 004’s watch vibrates, signal that it is time to set the trap. Felix hands the second SIG to Ronni who vanishes with surprising speed, before making his way across to the rest area. Beside a row of portable toilets he ducks, exploiting a weakness that Bond’s floor plans had exposed, slipping unopposed into the inner courtyard of the building. With the signal that indicates Q has all the CCTV in his hands, Leiter ascends to the top floor of the building using a fire escape without being observed, shifting to a point where he’ll sit and wait for the next set of instructions. Once it becomes apparent the attack is live, there’s a Spectre helicopter standing by that will land in this spot, pre-planned escape route for the Swanns. Felix has no intention of taking out either, just here to make sure they leave.
A glance at his watch tells Felix all he needs: 15 minutes to 22.00 hours. He thinks of Q, now using the sewer system to make his way to Spectre’s back door, and wonders if he’s met any resistance. As if the boy knew, there’s a buzz to his wrist, and the codeword ‘EGRESS’: not only is he inside but ready to go. Leiter’s about to suggest they could go early when there’s an explosion, then another, before the building he’s hiding on top of shudders. Water is pouring from the ground, mains pipes blown with explosive devices Spectre never noticed, nobody thinking to consider these areas as targets. There’ll be water streaming down walls too, thanks to Ronni, and as soon as the Quartermaster redirects the current along the rewired generators?
Exactly on cue, the entire area around Spectre’s main building is instantly electrified, immediate and unsettling screams of terror as people begin to flee, panic sudden and all-consuming. As revellers run blindly towards the exits, secondary explosives are activated, one after the other, blowing a section out of the quay wall onto the escaping mob, penning everyone into an area where everything touched will shock and possibly kill. From his vantage point, Felix’s understanding of Q’s rationale is further apparent. Those who run in panic become the agents of their own demise, but smarter revellers realise that anything metallic or wet is their enemy, and are forced to stand on plastic chairs or away from the live areas.
Nobody can move, as the full focus of the security teams is effortlessly pulled from the main building, as all fail to note a series of steel plates beneath their feet, supposedly protecting the cabling up to the main building. In what becomes an undoubted irony, hapless guards stream from the front of the HQ and are taken down by their own rush to the fray, one after the other, in an almost elegantly organised pile of smoking black cotton and Italian leather footwear. The Quartermaster had said it himself: evil surrounds itself with stupidity, because the smart people understand there’s no future in being the bad guys. The Swanns had continued to arrogantly assume that they would be the first targets and, more importantly that Bond’s retrieval was the priority.
In reality, nothing was further from the truth.
Everything related to James Bond (007) belongs to Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC, except the bits in here that are mine and I made up. I get how this works.